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12 Must-Visit Winter Getaways in New England

The winter season in New England is truly enchanting and worth experiencing. The snow-covered landscapes, sparkling lights, and refreshing cool air create a magical atmosphere that is irresistible. Below, explore 12 must-visit winter getaways in Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire that offer a unique winter experience with a variety of attractions and activities that you definitely don't want to miss out on.

Massachusetts Winter Getaways

Boston in the Winter

Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, the historical heart of Massachusetts, is incredibly beautiful during winter. The city's famous Freedom Trail is transformed under a soft layer of snow and offers a glimpse into the past with landmarks such as the Massachusetts State House and the Paul Revere House. Skating on the Frog Pond, located in the iconic Boston Common, has become a favorite pastime for both locals and visitors. When it's time to warm up, numerous cozy cafes serve delicious hot chocolate and coffee. For a unique winter experience, try dining in an igloo or visit the Snowport Winter Village in Seaport. Boston is truly a winter wonderland, offering a range of activities and experiences that are sure to delight visitors of all ages.

The Berkshires

The Berkshires, located in Western Massachusetts, are a veritable winter wonderland that are absolutely worth visiting. This mountainous region has become a hotspot for a range of winter sports, with opportunities for skiing and snowboarding at popular resorts like Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort and Berkshire East Mountain Resort. But it's not all about high-adrenaline activities; you can also enjoy peaceful cross-country skiing or snowshoeing through the picturesque trails of Notchview. Beyond outdoor pursuits, The Berkshires are renowned for their cultural attractions. You can explore the renowned Norman Rockwell Museum or catch a show at the Berkshire Theatre Group. Winter also brings special events, such as holiday markets and festivals, adding to the festive atmosphere. 

Nantucket, Massachusetts

Nantucket, typically known for its summer allure, offers an equally charming experience in the winter. The island's tranquil beauty shines through its serene, empty beaches and nature preserves. History buffs can dive into the past at the Nantucket Whaling Museum, home to a trove of fascinating historical artifacts. Despite the calm in the winter, Nantucket is not devoid of activity during these colder months. Many local businesses remain open, offering a cozy retreat from the chilly weather, just make sure to check their hours as they may differ from the summer months. Whether you're seeking a relaxing escape or a dive into history, Nantucket is a destination that should not be overlooked in winter.

Salem, Massachusetts

Winter in Salem, Massachusetts, offers a unique charm unlike any other season. The city's rich history, particularly its connection to the 1692 Salem Witch Trials, can be explored without the usual crowds at places like the Salem Witch Museum. The city's seasonal specialties and cozy accommodations add to the allure. Each February, the city hosts "Salem's So Sweet," featuring ice sculptures around the city, wine tastings, chocolate samplings, and Valentine's Day shopping. From historic tours to seasonal events, Salem in winter presents an intriguing and captivating destination.

Maine Winter Getaways

Maine in the Winter at Sunset

Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine, is a delightful winter destination with a myriad of activities to enjoy. The city offers winter lighthouse tours that provide stunning views and photo opportunities. For those who prefer indoor activities, the Portland Museum of Art opens its doors for visitors to wander its halls and appreciate its collections. If ice skating is more your style, Deering Oaks and Payson Park skating rinks are popular spots. From foodie tours to ice bars and cross-country skiing, visiting Portland in winter promises a unique blend of indoor and outdoor attractions that cater to all tastes.

Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park in winter is a serene wonderland, offering a distinct experience compared to the busier summer months. The park's stunning landscapes transform into a snowy paradise, offering visitors a range of winter activities. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are popular, with miles of groomed trails available. For a more adrenaline-filled adventure, the park also permits snowmobiling. Wildlife viewing is another draw, with opportunities to spot deer, foxes, and a variety of bird species. Despite the cold, the park's natural beauty is breathtaking during winter and offers a peaceful retreat from the normal hustle and bustle during the summer months. 

Camden, Maine

In winter, Camden, Maine is a veritable paradise for those who appreciate the tranquility and beauty of the season. The Camden Hills State Park, open year-round, offers delightful winter hiking and cross-country skiing with clearer views due to the absence of leaves on the trees. For thrill-seekers, the Camden Snow Bowl provides opportunities for winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, and tubing. A unique event to witness here is the U.S. National Toboggan Championships, where participants compete in outlandish costumes. With a variety of activities and picturesque winter landscapes, Camden, Maine, is a must-visit winter destination.

Kennebunkport, Maine

Kennebunkport, a quintessential coastal town in Maine, exudes a festive spirit during winter. The annual Christmas Prelude is a highlight, featuring tree lighting ceremonies, caroling, and craft fairs. Another popular winter festival is the annual Paint the Town Red event in February, where the coastal town transforms into a heartwarming winter wonderland. Visitors can partake in romantic activities such as sleigh rides or enjoy the culinary adventures the town has to offer. And for outdoor enthusiasts, there are multiple opportunities for winter hiking and snowshoeing nearby. Despite the cold weather, Kennebunkport remains a vibrant cultural hub with historic attractions, local art, and more.

New Hampshire Winter Getaways

Skiing in New Hampshire White Mountains

Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Portsmouth in winter, a picturesque historic city blanketed in snow, offers a plethora of both indoor and outdoor activities. Visitors can indulge in winter sports such as cross-country skiing, ice skating, and snowshoeing on the Seacoast. If you are someone who prefers a slower pace, meandering through Portsmouth's charming historic streets or hiking local trails provides a delightful experience. And let's not forget about the food - Portsmouth boasts some of the best culinary experiences in the region, from fresh seafood to locally sourced farm-to-table dishes, there's something for everyone's taste buds. Despite the chilly weather, Portsmouth maintains its vibrant charm, making it an ideal winter destination.

The White Mountains

The White Mountains in New Hampshire offer a truly spectacular winter wonderland, making it an ideal destination for those seeking adventure, natural beauty, and tranquility. Particularly, the town of Lincoln is home to Loon Mountain, one of New England's most popular ski resorts. Here, you can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing, with trails suitable for both novices and experts. For those who prefer a more relaxed pace, scenic gondola rides provide stunning views of the surrounding snow-covered mountains. Just a short drive away in Woodstock, you'll also find the Ice Castles, an awe-inspiring, must-see winter phenomenon. This frozen attraction, crafted by hand, features ice-carved tunnels, fountains, slides, and intricate sculptures, all illuminated by multicolored lights to create a magical ambiance. 

Hanover, New Hampshire

Home to Dartmouth College, Hanover offers a mix of academia and recreation. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy ice skating or explore the area's winter trails. There are miles of cross-country skiing trails to explore, and the town's scenic landscapes are perfect for winter walks or snowshoeing. But Hanover isn't just for outdoor enthusiasts. The Hood Museum of Art features diverse collections, while winter concerts at the Hopkins Center for the Arts can add a cultural touch to your visit. Whether you're looking for an active adventure or a peaceful retreat, Hanover, NH, should be on your winter travel list.

Lake Winnipesaukee

Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire is a winter paradise, offering a variety of activities that make it an attractive destination for visitors. The lake, which transforms into a vast icy playground in winter, hosts the New England Pond Hockey Classic, offering a unique and fun-filled opportunity for hockey enthusiasts. Another popular event is the ice fishing derbywhich can be enjoyed by all, even if you do not fish. Those who prefer more adventurous activities can indulge in snowmobiling and cross-country skiing all around the lake. Whether you're a sports enthusiast, a nature lover, or someone looking for a peaceful retreat, Lake Winnipesaukee offers something for everyone.

 

Learn More About Living in New England with KW Evolution 

From Massachusetts' historic cities to Maine's natural wonders and New Hampshire's stunning landscapes, these 12 destinations capture the essence of a New England winter. Whether you're an adrenaline junkie, a history enthusiast, or someone who simply loves the peaceful beauty of winter, these getaways promise unforgettable experiences. 

Interested in making New England your permanent home this winter? Contact KW Evolutions to learn more! 

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